Does anyone else remember “The More You Know” PSA’s from the late 80’s and early 90’s? If not here is a refresher.
I have been thinking a lot about leadership, decision making, and of course the hot topic of the fire service the supposed “new science” or “new tactics” (which Lloyd Layman wrote about a long time ago). Some can get down right violent when bringing up these topics. The reasons can be anything from tradition, not believing in the science, and the like.
I think one of the biggest problems is how the information has been presented by some. Insinuating that someone who does not embrace these changes is a dinosaur, not thinking, Neanderthal, or any other creative name that comes to mind is not only wrong it is damaging to the message at hand.
These studies, should be presented as information to be read, absorbed, and used to make informed decisions.
In short “The More You Know” translates into making better decisions. These decisions should be made with your staffing, department, and other resource intricacies in mind. Anytime I read something, take a class, etc. I always apply what I have learned to my department. It may be the best thing in the world, but if it can not be done with a 3 person engine company then it is not for us.
Your decisions should be made from information, and experience not ego or resistance to change. Even experience can be dangerous as experience needs constant preventative maintenance to remain current.
Here is a real world example:
Above you see a picture of a pretty standard strip mall, and specifically an dry cleaner and alterations store. If you showed me the outside of this in a fire scenario I would have with out a doubt said we are not going to search this occupancy until after the fire was extinguished. No one is in there especially after hours I would have told you. Then when we went in….
Someone is living there after hours, and when the occupancy is closed. So now I know if conditions are right we need to search this occupancy.
That decision is based on information, and knowing the resources I am going to have at my disposal for a fire in this occupancy. I would never have known if I had not gotten out in my district and went looking.
The point of it all is keep reading, studying, training, in order to make sure your decisions are informed ones, and are the best for your company.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!